When you’re trying to find a diet you can maintain for health or weight loss, you may run across the Bahamian Diet.
Created by comedian and activist Dick Gregory in the 1980s to respond to his own health issues, the diet and complementary supplement may help you reach your wellness goals.
The diet includes using a powdered meal replacement drink once marketed as the Formula 4X.
It was reformulated as a weight-loss product and named the Bahamian Diet.
It’s still available as of August 2019, reformulated once again, under the Caribbean Diet for Optimal Health.
The Bahamian Diet is a natural, vegetarian raw food diet that uses a meal replacement drink.
Who Is Dick Gregory?
Dick Gregory was a well-known comedian and political activist in the 1960s.
He developed the Bahamian Diet (then known as the Slim Safe Bahamian Diet) and supplement after using his plan to achieve weight loss.
According to NPR, he weighed, at one point, 365 pounds and lost a lot of weight through fasting.
Gregory went on a hunger strike to protest the Vietnam War and other causes.
In an interview with Juan Williams on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, he explained that he went without solid food for two and a half years.
He alternated between 40 days of water, 40 days of fruit juice, 40 days of fruit and then 40 days of water again.
What Is The Bahamian Diet ?
The Bahamian diet is actually two diets; a food-based, vegetarian diet and a supplement regimen, replacing or supplementing a low-calorie, vegetarian diet.
The diet was developed by Dick Gregory, a social activist and comedian who has been performing since the 1950s.
Along the way, Gregory developed health problems; he smoked, drank and ballooned to 350 pounds.
He felt he needed to change his lifestyle, which led him to create the Bahamian diet.
The Bahamian Diet Principles
The official product website, Wellness in Nature, does little to suggest how the program should be followed.
Instead, it offers a video sharing the history of the supplement, detailing numerous accounts of restored health and wellness.
But, according to a 1993 commercial advertising the Bahamian Diet, users are to mix the powder with prune juice, drink it for breakfast and lunch, then eat a sensible, balanced dinner.
In addition, they’re advised to drink eight glasses of water per day and walk a mile every day.
The powder mixes with water, coconut water, almond or rice milk or unsweetened juice.
The Bahamian Diet Plan
The Supplement Diet
Gregory originally developed a supplement called Formula Four X which is now sold as Dick Gregory’s Caribbean Diet for Optimal Health.
The powder supplement contains various vegan ingredients, including rice and flaxseed powder, coffee bean, bitter melon and milk thistle extract, mango and lime fruit powder, pepper and even turmeric root.
The diet involves taking two or three scoops a day of the supplement to replace meals.
Gregory does not specify how long to stay on the supplement-only regimen nor does Wellness in Nature LLC, the company that now markets the product but Gregory says that he has given the supplement to friends and colleagues over the years to help them lose weight and overcome health problems.
The Science On The Supplement
In a study in a 1989 edition of the “Journal of the National Medical Association,” diabetic rats fed the Bahamian diet mix actually gained weight more quickly than rats in two control groups.
Still, the Bahamian diet group showed greatly improved insulin and blood glucose levels throughout the one-year study.
There are no other studies specifically on the Bahamian diet.
Still, the University of Maryland Medical Center says that no medicines, herbs or supplements can help you lose a lot of weight and that many supplements have side effects.
According to the medical centre, the only way to lose weight is to decrease the number of calories you eat and increase your exercise and activity.
Bahamian Diet Supplement Ingredients
The Wellness in Nature website doesn’t provide a photo of the supplement facts or a full list of ingredients.
The product is touted as a 100 percent vegan whole-food-based dietary supplement containing highly digestible plant protein.
The Bahamian Diet supplement product is allergen-friendly, free of cholesterol, artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners, MSG, soy, dairy, sugar and gluten, and non-GMO.
The Food-Based Diet
While Gregory recommends using the formula, he also described The Bahamian Diet’s food plan in his most recent autobiography: “Callus on My Soul.” For breakfast and until noon you eat nothing but fruit.
Lunch consists of a vegetable salad or more fruit.
Dinner is 1/2 cup of white rice, topped by a mixture of half an onion, four pieces of garlic, 9 tablespoons of olive oil and 6 tablespoons of liquid amino acid, all pulsed in a blender.
Gregory says you should drink eight glasses of water daily.
Squeeze the juice from eight lemons, four oranges, and two grapefruits to enhance your beverage.
Mix these with 1 1/2 cups of pure maple syrup in a 1-gallon container of spring water.
In another study published in the 1989 “Journal of the National Medical Association” article, New Orleans police officers who received a daily Bahamian diet supplement as part of an overall meal plan lost more weight an average of 16.8 pounds, or 1.5 pounds per week than other groups on the same meal plan fed a placebo or a different supplement during the 10-week trial.
Participants in the three groups consumed the same number of calories daily 1,500 for men and 1,200 for women which included the placebo or supplement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that there is no evidence eating fruits and vegetables will help you lose weight.
But, the CDC notes that replacing high-calorie, processed and nutrient-deficient foods in your diet with fruits and vegetables, which are low in calories and nutrient-dense, will keep you full for longer and help you lose weight.
Does The Bahamian Diet Work?
According to multiple case studies published in 1989 in the Journal of the National Medical Association, the Bahamian Diet shows promise.
“The 4X formula is high in minerals and trace elements.”
The journal article references four case studies, all with positive outcomes.
However, these results would have to be repeated in multiple large scale studies before considering it safe and effective.
One study involved advanced protein-energy malnutrition in Ethiopian children.
The Bahamian Diet powder was mixed with a small amount of vegetable oil, table sugar, water and whole cow’s milk.
Regular administering of the supplement reversed clinical and biochemical features in the nine children who participated in the study.
Liquid diets are meant to keep the stomach and intestines clear while limiting the strain on your digestive system and keeping you hydrated.
Diets like this should be used for only a few days and under the direction of a doctor.
Long-term use of liquid diets doesn’t provide enough calories and nutrients.
Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables to help manage your weight.
Tips & Tricks For Bahamian Diet
Remember that making small changes to your diet and your life now will make big differences in your health in the future.
Healthy eating and keeping active at the same time can give you a healthy lifestyle and add years to your life.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Skipping breakfast increases your risk of obesity and makes it harder to lose weight.
Prep In Advance
If you don’t have enough time in the morning or during the week, plan some time on the weekend to prepare meals for your workweek.
Being distracted and not paying attention to your meal make you eat more.
You can put your fork down between each bite to slow your eating pace and savour your food.
Staying hydrated helps transport nutrients to your body and helps your energy levels.
Choose Quality, Whole Foods
Packaged foods have minimal nutrients, which will make you feel tired and sluggish.
Consume whole foods like fruit legumes.
Since whole foods are natural, they contain the highest vitamins, minerals, and fibre levels.
Some are antioxidants that can prevent cell damage and boost your immune system.
Some examples of dishes:
- Peach Cobbler
- Pear Salad
- Mango Salad
- Cream Of Broccoli Soup
- Bean Burritos
- Sweet Potato